My final, a least for now, Featured Friend Friday focuses on Debbie Fritson. Try saying that fast four or five times. 🙂
Eight years ago, my oldest, Melody, met a young man at a wedding. After going to Sonic for slushies and talking on the phone a few times, she asked me if I knew Debbie Ray. How surprised and pleased I was that Melody seemed to be very interested in my middle-school friend’s son, Tim. Debbie and I had not kept up over the years but had briefly reconnected a few years prior to Melody’s query. Debbie was the administrative assistant at Maplewood Elementary for many years. I went there one day as a sub.
Debbie and I met at Avondale United Methodist Church. My memories are hazy of us at church together. But what I remember is how friendly she was to me and how nice her parents were. She invited me to her home in Gracemor a number of times. Mrs. Ray wore lots of make-up and she struck me as beautiful and sophisticated and fashion conscious. The clearest memory I have of Debbie’s dad is smelling his pipe and watching him comb his short, thick spiked hair with a handheld scalp massager type comb that he stored above his car visor. (I don’t know if Tim remembers his grandfather but he has worn his hair exactly like his grandpa ever since I have known him.) Debbie’s parents were a handsome couple that I held in high regard.
I fondly remember Debbie had a boy-girl party just for fun, not for a birthday. It was a new concept for me. I was invited and was a little intimidated with a room full of mostly Maple Parkers. I distinctly remember listening to “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five and learning those who went to the Mormon Church did not drink caffeine. Funny that we can’t recall important details at times but sometimes the trivial is retained.
Debbie is always cheerful, very welcoming and encouraging. She is interested in others and can easily engage in conversation. She is a strong woman with a definite opinion of her own coupled with a high intellect. She is likely one of the smartest people in the room at any given time. Debbie is a reader and game player and keeps abreast of what is going on in the world. She has a unique voice that you might say is raspy and high which seems like a dichotomy but I think accurate. I can just imagine that all the elementary kids at Maplewood felt cared about and safe with “Mrs. Debbie”. And as most everyone knows, Debbie, her husband, Rod and daughter, Sarah are Disney aficionados.
Debbie knows God and has done an excellent job raising my daughter’s husband. She has loved him well. There is no familial term for the relationship between my son-in-law’s mother and me so I like to call Debbie my sister-in-love.
So disappointed that I can’t find the one picture I have of Debbie and I together from middle school. 😦